After selling my company I took off for a two-week vacation in Sri Lanka with my family. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to unwind after one year of discussions and negotiations. Frankly I needed it badly.
Tomorrow will be my first day at work. I am obviously a little apprehensive. For the last few years I have been the Queen Bee at work (as a rather brutally honest friend pointed out to me recently). I was in a position to decide who to recruit and I made sure that it was people I could respect and get along with. I did not have to worry about office politics or making sure that the boss was aware of my performance. I was the boss.
One of the main advantages of being an owner-manager is that you create your own version of work Utopia with like-minded individuals. You are also able to tweak your work life to fit your family life, which is one of the reasons women who want to have both a career and a family should seriously consider setting up their own business. It obviously comes with risk and stress, but nothing beats it when it comes to flexibility. I am a testament to that – when I started the business I was 23 and free as a bird. As the years passed I first acquired a husband, and after that 3 children. I was able to adjust the pace of my work life without having to account for my decisions to anyone other than myself (and my bank account).
This is now going to change. Not only will I have a boss but I will have lots of peers: strong-minded individuals who are at the top of their game and have risen through the ranks in the corporate world. I am going to jump way out of my comfort zone. After 18 years of doing one thing and getting rather bored of it by the end, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience something new.
When you start a business you tie yourself to the company. It is totally different from having a job, because when you are employed you always have the option of resigning and finding a job elsewhere. As an owner-manager, however, this option is not on the table. After having invested years of your life and possibly all your life savings in your company, you cannot just write a letter of resignation to yourself and move on. So I never thought that I would have the possibility of having a total change of career and I consider myself truly fortunate to be able to learn and experience something new, as part of my personal growth.
Wish me luck! I will keep you posted.